Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries and How We Help Clients Recover Full Compensation from All Those Liable
Motorcycle crashes often cause catastrophic injury and death, in large part because unlike those in cars and other vehicles (which have highly-developed crash zone protection), motorcyclists have little protection against injury. Typically, motorcyclists will have only helmets and possibly other clothing designed to minimize road rash. Even the best designed helmets cannot fully protect against severe head injury and traumatic brain injury, and clothing cannot also protect against broken bones, severe lacerations, and other injuries.
As Seattle Motorcycle accident lawyers, we help those injured in motorcycle crashes and their families obtain full and fair compensation from all those who may be liable. If you’ve been injured, we encourage you to give us a call immediately for a free consultation. If we are retained as your attorneys, we will want to conduct a thorough investigation of the crash scene as soon as possible – before skid marks have been washed away by the rain, before vegetation that may have played a part in the accident has been cut, and before other changes have been made.
Anatomy of a Motorcycle Crash
According to NHTSA, over 80% of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death.  When a crash occurs that involves a sudden impact (such as with a car, truck, or other vehicle), the forward momentum of the motorcyclist usually results in the rider being thrown from the motorcycle at a high rate of speed. While the motorcycle itself may come to a sudden stop when it hits the vehicle, the rider will initially maintain the same velocity as he or she was traveling immediately prior to the impact (which may be 30, 40 or even 50 miles or more per hour).
The rider then becomes subject to injury (or death) from two causes: by impacting vehicles, guardrails, or other objects, and by impacting the road or ground. Large, immovable barriers (such as cement lane dividers) and heavy objects (other vehicles) will often cause significant injury, as a driver’s body (rather than the other object) will bear most of the impact. When the rider hits the ground, they will almost always sustain numerous injuries (including road rash) from tumbling over pavement, gravel, or surrounding land. The faster that the motorcyclist was traveling, the more distance will normally be required for the rider to come to a complete stop, and the more severe of injuries are likely to be sustained.
What Types of Motorcycle Injuries Typically Occur in a Crash?
The statistics regarding motorcycle accidents are tragic. According to the NHTSA, motorcycle deaths occur 28 times more frequently than fatalities from other vehicle crashes during 2016.  Frequent injuries suffered by motorcyclists include:
- Head trauma, concussions, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Traumatic brain injuries are estimated to be one of the highest-occurring injuries in motorcycle accidents, and a leading cause of death from crashes. Even when motorcylists are wearing a helmet, concussions and TBIs can occur, especially in crashes that involve a high rate of speed and impact with heavy objects.
- Road rash.
Road rash occurs as a result of a rider’s skin coming into contact with the road, often as a result of skidding along a road while tumbling to an eventual stop. Leather and other protective riding gear can help to minimize road rash in some crashes, but riders in shorts and less-protective materials often sustain serious injury as these materials can be shredded in a crash. Severe damage to skin can range from painful scrapes to open sores or worse.
- Broken bones and lacerations.
Broken bones and lacerations can occur through impacting multiple objects during the course of a crash, as well as the pavement and ground. Unfortunately, riders have little protection against sustaining these types of injuries.
- Internal trauma.
Often, the impact of a crash will cause severe (and life-threatening) internal trauma involving damage to organs and internal bleeding. Unlike many other types of injuries that are more noticeable, internal trauma may not initially be detected. It is critical that motorcyclists who are involved in a crash be carefully checked by a doctor for internal injuries, as such injuries can have the potential of become fatal very quickly.
- Amputations (especially those involving lower legs) are not uncommon in severe motorcycle crashes.
In such cases, the lower part of one of a driver’s legs can get caught below the motorcycle as the crash occurs. Amputation can also occur with respect to other body parts, including arms, hands, and feet.
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
Spinal cord injuries and paralysis, unfortunately, occur too often in motorcycle crashes. Spinal cord injury and paralysis are devastating to the victims and their families and may involve a lifetime of care.
We Support Safe Motorcycle Riding, and Help Motorcyclists Injured By Others
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash caused by someone else, or if a family member has died in a motorcycle crash, we invite you to call us to learn how we can help. We have recovered millions of dollars for clients in personal injury matters (including over $19 million dollars in the largest victory ever against the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services).
We offer full service representation – not only are there no fees unless we recover damages and compensation, we also advance all costs of litigation so that clients do not need to pay for the necessary costs of their case while their case is proceeding. We offer a free consultation, so that you can learn about how we can help, and the opportunities for securing a recovery.